Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/272

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
239
NATIVE TRIBES.

message, returned in a great hurry, glistening with moisture from having swam across the creek; as she had seen the Tryal bay tribe, who were coming up to fight the natives at our place. She had scarcely bounded away from us to warn them of the approach of their enemies, when the latter appeared, marching in Indian file, having their bodies painted with red stripes, and their bark shields whitened with pipe clay and adorned with double red crosses^ They advanced with a measured tramp, carrying their spears aloft at a uniform slope, with their shields on the left side. They had just arrived where we were standing, when the Yarra-Bandini blacks, having been warned by the gin of the approach of their enemies, dashed out of the adjoining brush, and throwing themselves into regular rows, five or six deep, commenced a furious dance in defiance of the other party, leaping up and down at a measured tread, whilst they beat time with their nulla-nullas and waddies, accompanying each jump with a short loud shout. As soon as their adversaries had arrived opposite to them, each party halted, whilst the chief men on both sides advanced, and commenced a most animated dialogue, occasionally threatening each other with their spears. A very old woman, whom the Tryal bay blacks had brought up with them, seemed to be particularly active in abusing and insulting the Yarra-Bandini natives, whom she railed at unceasingly in a loud screaming voice. As the Australian aborigines look upon their women as very